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Joomla. Quick Start Guide

Table of Contents

  1. Preparations
  2. Complete installation. Joomla Engine + Framework + Joomla theme + Sample data
  3. Joomla theme installation with sample data
  4. Template Installation
  5. Sample Data Installation
  6. Getting started if you have the site up
    • Framework installation
    • Template Installation
    • Template Activation
    • Third-party extensions installation
    • K2 Component
    • Modules Configuration
    • Images Preview
    • Installing Menu
    • How to add new Custom HTML modules to your template
  7. Conclusion


In order to run Joomla template you need to perform some preparations.

  1. First of all you need to download Joomla engine from the official website and http://joomla.org.

    Please check the template software requirements and make sure you are downloading the required version of Joomla.

    From the Downloads page you can get most recent version of Joomla 2.5.

    In case you need earlier versions please use Download other Joomla packages link

  2. When the Joomla package is downloaded you need to extract the files from the archive. This can be done using the default archive manager or using such applications as WinZip (Windows) or Stuffit Expander (MAC).

  3. Then you need to create a database to store Joomla CMS data. You can create database using your hosting control panel or the phpMyAdmin too in case you are using local server. Feel free to check the details tutorial on how to create database.

Complete installation. Joomla Engine + Framework + Joomla theme + Sample data

This installation option is used if you don’t have Joomla installation on your server. Fullpackage.zip archive used in this guide contains Joomla engine and the theme so you don’t need to upload Joomla CMS package separately.

  1. As soon as the template is downloaded and unzipped you should upload the archive joomla/fullpackage.zip using any FTP software like Filezilla or the Filemanager in your hosting control panel. The detailed tutorial on how to upload files can help you in case of any difficulties.

  2. When that is done please upload the file joomla/unzip.php from the template package to the server into the same directory as the previous archive.

  3. As soon as you finish please open your site in the browser and add the file name – unzip.php to the URL. It should look like this: yourwebsite.com/unzip.php

  4. This is what you get:

  5. In the drop-down list "Choose your zip file" please select fullpackage.zip and click "Unzip". It will start to uncompress the files on your server into the same directory. It will take a little while.

  6. As soon as it is unzipped, you will see the list of files. Please open your site in the browser, – yourwebsite.com and start Joomla installation.

  7. On Step 6 in your installation – "Main Configuration" it is necessary that you click "Install Sample Data".

    It is vitally important to install Sample data. Please do not ignore this step

  8. As soon as the installation is complete, the template with the default content will automatically be activated on your site and will look like the demo on our template preview page.

Feel free to check the detailed video tutorial on how to use Joomla template quick installer

Please check the following tutorials in case you are using Joomla 1.6/1.7 engine and template:

Please check the following tutorials in case you are using Joomla 1.5 engine and template:

Joomla theme installation with sample data

This installation option is used in case you already have a Joomla CMS installed on your server and want to install Joomla theme with sample data. The sample data will make your Joomla website appear as at the template preview page with all sample articles, modules and site testing installed.

Please note: Installing of the Joomla theme sample data will replace all your Joomla website settings, modules and articles. Do not use this step if you have a ready Joomla website and just want to install the theme.

Template Installation

First of all you need to install the Joomla template and Framework. This can be done through the Joomla administration panel. Please install the template following the directions in Getting started if you have the site up part of this manual

Our templates are supplied with the sample pages, modules and configuration settings. In other words to make the template look as at the preview you need to install and configure the modules.

Sample data installation

If you want your site look like the demo you should install the dump.sql file.

Please note: the sample data SQL file should be installed only when you are done installing all additional modules and components

ATTENTION: import .sql file ONLY if your site is a clean installation of Joomla! CMS, and you have not yet created any content, articles, modules, etc. This step will erase all the work you’ve already done to your site. Otherwise, please skip to the – “Manually configuring template modules” step

To install dump.sql file you should do the following:

Before the dump import please make sure to change the default database prefix in the dump file (“jos_”) to the tables prefix which is used in your Joomla database. In order to find out your Joomla database prefix please login into Joomla Admin, “Global Configuration” -> “Server” and find Database Tables Prefix”.

Then open your dump.sql file with any text editor (preferably Dreamweaver or Notepad) and replace all instances of “jos_” with your Joomla database prefix in the entire document using the Find and Replace tool (usually the Ctrl+H hot key). E.g.: xyz_

  • Open your PhpMyAdmin tool (which is part of your Hosting Control Panel).
  • Select the database you created for Joomla! CMS.
  • Select “IMPORT” option and click “Browse” button
  • Navigate to the “sources” folder of the template and select dump.sql file.
  • Press “GO” button.

To complete the sample data installation please open the template package, go to the sources/to root directory/” directory and upload it’s content to your Joomla installation root.

If you don’t have much experience with PhpMyAdmin tool, please check this tutorial on how to complete the steps above:

Getting started if you have the site up

Framework installation

Due to the often framework updates we do not include the framework package into the template archive. Please download the latest version of gantry framework package from the official website at http://www.gantry-framework.org/download

Please make sure you are downloading Gantry framework for Joomla 2.5. The package should be called gantry_joomla_framework-###.zip

In order to install the Gantry Framework open the Joomla administration panel and go to “Extensions > Extensions Manager“.

In the Upload Package File section click the Browse button and upload the downloaded Gantry Framework zip package

Template Installation

Installing through the Joomla! CMS Extensions Manager:

  1. In the administration section of your Joomla! website go to the ExtensionsExtensions Manager.
  2. Then in the “Upload package file” section open the Package File upload dialogue box by clicking on the “Browse” button.
  3. Find the theme###.zip archive from the “joomla” folder in your downloaded template package, click Open and then click “Upload & install“.

Template Activation

When you are done with the installation you should activate it. Open the Joomla! administration section, then using the main menu please, go to the “Extensions – Template manager” page.

Then choose the newly installed template by clicking the checkbox and click “Make Default” button in the upper right corner. This will enable your template as a default one for your site.

Then click the template name to enter the template configuration page. You should assign the template to the website pages. To do this click “Toggle Selection” button in the “Menus assignment” section.

Third-party extensions installation

The template may have some modules that are not included into the default Joomla! installation and should be installed manually. The procedure is the same as described in the step 1 of this document.

  1. From the Joomla! administration panel select “ExtensionsExtensions Manager“.
  2. Click the Browse button and select the extension package from the template “sources” folder.
  3. Click the “Upload & Install” button.
  4. Then go to the “Extensions – Module manager” page. The newly installed module should appear in the modules list.

Open the module and set the configuration options according to the Modules Configuration table.

K2 Component

K2 is a content component for Joomla! with CCK-like features developed by JoomlaWorks. It allows you to manage your content in a multitude of ways quite easily. You can publish blog, catalog, directory and magazine styled sites using a single component and all in one site.

  1. Find K2 Component in the folder “sources
  2. Install K2 using the Joomla “Extension Manager
  3. Open “K2 dashboard “from the Joomla Component Menu
  4. Click to “Import Joomla! Content” button in the top, right hand corner of the k2 Dashboard.
  5. Click on the Parameters icon in the top, right hand corner of the k2 Dashboard and set your default criteria for ALL k2 content.

Please note: step 4. Importing Joomla content in to K2 can be used to transfer the Joomla articles into K2. Please skip this step if you don’t have any Joomla articles.

Portfolio page

Joomla framework based templates have a Portfolio page with animated sort option. The page can also be called Products, Services etc.

To create the portfolio page please do the following:

  1. Open Joomla admin panel
  2. Go to Components > K2 > Categories
  3. Create new category with your Portfolio items
  4. Add items to the portfolio category. Please note: each portfolio item should have as image assigned. Otherwise the sorting won’t work
  5. For each item add tags. Item tags will be used as sort order buttons displayed at the top of the gallery
  6. Create new blank category with no items assigned
  7. From the Joomla admin top menu select Menus > Main Menu
  8. Add new menu item. Select type: K2 > Categories
  9. At the Edit Menu item page check the right column
    • In the basic options tab select 2 categories: Portfolio and Blank
    • In the Layout options for multiple category selection Select template: Portfolio
    • Set Primary count and Columns to desired values.
    • Switch to Page display Options tab and type the page class suffix: port
  10. Click Save button in the top right corner to save your changes

Modules Configuration

  • In the Joomla! administration section please, go to “ExtensionsModule Manager“;
  • Open each module from the list of used modules, assign it to the given position and set the configuration options from the Modules Configuration table.
  • Note, each particular Joomla template has it’s own unique set of modules used in this template. Modules, their types, positions, class suffixes, order and assigned pages differs in each template. Please open the documentation provided with your template, go to Getting started if you have the site up->Modules Configuration section and check specific instructions for your particular template.

  • After all the necessary changes are applied save the values of each module by clicking the “Save & Close” button in the upper right corner.

If that table is missing the module for the top navigation menu please check the Installing Menu step of this manual.

ATTENTION: By default Joomla! 2.5 installation comes with only couple of modules installed. Therefore to make your Joomla! site look like our live demo please, install all necessary modules through the administration section of your site. You may also need to add all the menu items and articles by yourself.

Images preview

To display the same images as at the template preview page, please, go to the “sources/to root directory/” folder and copy all the folders to your Joomla! installation directory.

Installing menu

Be default Joomla templates use the RockNavMenu module to display the top navigation menu. It can be installed as any other third party module using the Joomla administration panel (Extensions > Extensions Manager)

RockNavMenu module can be activated and configured at the template settings page (Extensions > Templates Manager ). Select your template and at the appeared page click Menu tab.

How to add new Custom HTML modules to your template

Some templates may contain the custom HTML modules that should be installed manually.

Note: If you performed the dump.sql file import you may skip this step.

Before working with Custom HTML modules we highly recommend to disable the Joomla WYSIWYG editor.

Please, enter the Joomla! administration panel, and go to the Site > Global Configuration. Find the option “Default Editor” and select “No Editor“. Default Joomla! WYSIWYG editors may modify the custom HTML module’s code and cause you some issues.

  • Then go to the Extensions > Module Manager page. Press the “New” button in the top right corner
  • select “Custom HTML“;
  • in the “Title” field type the title of your new module;
  • in the “Position” field choose the correct position for the new module from the Modules Configuration table above (Step 4);
  • in the “Module Class Suffix” field please, type the appropriate class suffix specified in the Modules Configuration table;
  • in the “Custom Output” text area please, put the HTML code provided in the appropriate file from the template “sources” folder. The correct filename could be found in the Modules Configuration table.


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